Saturday, June 14, 2008

Martha Stewart: Cooking With Fire

One of my pet peeves is the lack of attention paid by most celebrity chefs to the details of safe food preparation. In February, I commented on the food safety shortcomings of a recipe published by Mark Bittman of the New York Times in his blog, "Bitten". Blogger Doug Powell of Kansas State University has raised similar alarms about the on-air practices of celebrity chefs – most recently in a June 6th blog article.

Last December, I took Martha Stewart to task in an open letter over her inattention to safe cooking procedures for raw poultry, and for her use of raw eggs in an eggnog recipe. I emailed a copy of the letter to Martha Stewart Living, and had no response.

But today I am pleased to report that my message appears to have made an impact at Martha Stewart Living. The July/August 2008 edition of "Everyday Food" has incorporated safe grilling instructions into its recipes for turkey burgers and for marinated chicken breasts.

Specifically, on page 14 of the magazine, the recipe for "tex-mex turkey burgers with zucchini salad" includes the following directions:

"Cover and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of a burger reads 155º, 4 to 5 minutes per side."

"Top burgers with cheese. Cover and continue to grill until cheese has melted and internal temperature reaches 165º, 2 to 4 minutes more."

A recipe for "buttermilk and herb marinated chicken" in the same issue of the magazine instructs readers to:

"Grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken registers 165º, 5 to 8 minutes per side."
It's nice to know that someone at Martha Stewart Living is paying attention to food safety.

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